Body at the Melbourne Club: Bertram Armytage,  Antarctica's Forgotten Man: Burke, David
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Body at the Melbourne Club: Bertram Armytage, Antarctica's Forgotten Man

Author(s): Burke, David

Copyright: 2009, Australia
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xiv, 170, 85 bw photos, plan, 3 maps, appendix, wraps
Condition: new

Bertram Armytage was the first Australian-born member of an Antarctic expedition.

The son of a wealthy squatter, he became a popular sportsman who rowed for Cambridge. He fought in the Boer War and later, as an expert horseman, he was given charge of the ponies in Ernest Shackleton’s great 1907–1909 polar expedition, during which he narrowly escaped the jaws of killer whales. In London, he was decorated by royalty for his achievements.

Armytage had the world at this feet. But on coming home to Australia, leaving his wife and infant daughter in London, he went to his part-time city residence, the exclusive Melbourne Club, put on his dinner suit and polar medals and, at the age of 41, shot himself.

This biography traces the enigmatic life of an unsung explorer, providing a new perspective on one of the great polar expeditions.

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